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Zephyr: Phase One [Kindle Edition]

Warren Hately
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Editorial reviews

"It’s a skillfully-written superhero fantasy resonant with emotion. Expect to feel your soul move as the swaggering narrator bears comic and often poignant witness to the vagaries of a life both bizarre and very like our own" --AA Attanasio, author of the Radix tetrad and The Dragon and the Unicorn series.

"I absolutely loved this book. The author is whip smart and dissects this genre like a surgeon" --Joe Gazzam, screenwriter, author of Uncaged.

"The book deconstructs the superhero in the most entertaining, cynical and interesting ways" --Michael Ivan Lowell, The Suns of Liberty series.

Zephyr is an ongoing series that has been favourably compared to Alan Moore's Watchmen and similar classics. Like the comic books to which it owes a debt, Zephyr is episodic with an open narrative. It is written for grown-ups.

It's 2013 on the eastern seaboard of the United States. The place is Atlantic City: a sweeping longitudinal metropolis rebuilt following widespread devastation in 1984. Superhumans are not only real, they're human. All too human, as Nietzsche would say.

Zephyr is an alt.superhero adventure influenced by postliterary writing and Sturgeon's law. The style is cynical, cinematic and systematically against standard expectations of the genre. Imagine if Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho was about costumed vigilantes rather than stockbrokers and you have half the idea.

Zephyr tells the story of a major, if somewhat jaded superhero in an alternate universe where New York City has been abandoned and the Beatles were a superhero team. Zephyr is a regular guy, but with powers, and it's easy to wonder if his life might have been better without them as supervillains and other problems that only superhumans can deal with derail his efforts handling life.

In Phase One, Zephyr tackles the pressure to reform his old Sentinels superhero team for financial gain, saves his best friend Twilight, endures sexual blackmail, reconciles his daughter's expulsion from high school, and deals with a close betrayal, all as the star-god Hariss as-Sama prepares for its assault on Atlantic City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1320 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C3C4OZU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,547 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Redefines The Genre December 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I collect super hero fiction like a kid with baseball cards. From the golden child of the canon, the Wild Card books, to the more standard staples like Just and Wearing the Cape all the way to fringier delights like Velveteen Vs and Liminal People I grab it when I find it and add it to my digital museum of four color prose. I found Zephyr through an anthology of short stories and the entry was enough to peak my curiosity. I scooped up the first three volumes and tucked them away. After a few months I found a lull in my reading schedule and decided to give it a shot.
Man, it blew my mind. Not only the real world cult of personality and fame culture Hately built up around supers but also the sheer magnificence of the ever so slightly altered world the story is told in and the balls it took to create it. Barack Obama as a Muslim peace ambassador uniting his faith and allying with America against Zionist terrorists? A mentally unhinged Sascha Baron Cohen who can only use his super powers in his Ali G persona? John Lennon as the worlds Dr. Doom? Yoko Ono as the corrupting demoness who made him that way? Tony Danza as the lead in Rocky? The are so many subtle yet brilliant liberties that Hately takes with reality that makes his world pop as a unique, fun, unpredictable sand box in which he hatches super human adventures on par with anything else on the market. I can't wait to devour the rest of the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So you want to be a superhero? July 16, 2013
By Clyde
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an intriguing deconstruction of the superhero concept. Zephyr isn't Tony Stark or Peter Parker - a genius whose upbringing somehow "prepares" him to be a superhero. He's the one-in-a-million working class Everyman who does something stupid, but receives god-like superpowers instead of getting killed. In his (our) celebrity obsessed world, he's a rock star. But he's also trying to manage a secret identity as a husband and father. Much of the story illustrates the difficulty (and absurdity) of maintaining this lifestyle on a day-to-day basis. All this in a different but recognizable alternate universe makes for an enjoyable story that has me very interested in the sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised in a good way May 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Pretty damned good. A super-"kinda hero", Zephyr is a powerhouse with the morals of an elk in rut and a pile of personal problems. The writing is tight and edited. Give it a try.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
What if beneath the impervious exterior superheroes were really just ordinary humans? Humans with lives, loves, spouses and children they had to take care of? What if the people who fought off an alien menace still had to deal with mundane things in life? This is the essence of what Zephyr: Phase One is about.

Our "hero" is Zephyr, with super strength, a lightning fast metabolism, and the ability to control electricity. He's the hero everyone knows, but just like the band who gets one song played on the radio, that doesn't mean he's got it made. He has to coordinate with his publicist to do public appearances for income. He sells tips to a journalist for cash on the side. He works to form a supergroup for the marketing potential as much as to fight super-villains. He might soar above the crowd, but when nobody's looking he's down in the dirt like everyone else, living his life and trying to get by just like everyone else.

The story is intelligently written, in a style like Bret Easton Ellis. You'll find pop culture, designer clothes, celebrity cameos, and clever references all through the writing. The book was originally a series of stories posted online, so the pacing is fast and you won't get bogged down into a tale that drags on forever.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Zephyr might be a superhero, but he's still a marvelously flawed human. Read what it's like when the spotlight goes out and the superhero who just saved the day goes home to his family and has to deal with real life.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A superhero book for grown ups September 27, 2013
By Hayley
Format:Kindle Edition
Finally a superhero story for grown ups! There's the super powers, the villains, the slightly ambiguous in betweens (I'm having to really try to avoid spoilers in this review). We get to see our hero Zephyr deal with the press and trying to keep his normal identity secret which isn't something comics really touch on too much. Warren Hately also manages to include all the battles and plots that comic readers tend to love, there seems to be something going on around every corner, I really feel for the poor normal people living in that world who have to deal with all the supercharged criminals without any powers of their own.

There's a fair bit of adult content in this, well I'm not sure how to describe it, novel? comic? so even though it's great and at certain points quite witty writing I would avoid letting children or anyone a bit on the prudish side read it.

The idea that Zephyr is a veteran in the superhero world at just 35 is quite an interesting point, especially in the youth obsessed world we live in ourselves where older celebrities tend to get less press. Though really it's more likely that he's a veteran because of how dangerous the superhero world is, I mean how many of us would survive in a world where people can control pretty much any element I could easily see myself accidentally injuring myself with my own powers if they were decent ones.

Anyway to cut away from the weird rambling in the last paragraph I'm seriously recommending this book to someone who likes the whole superhero thing, you don't even have to be the greatest fan. I've never read a `proper comic' and most of my superhero experience comes from films like The incredibles or Batman and I really enjoyed this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a definite case of "cape punk" where the assumption ...
It's a definite case of "cape punk" where the assumption is that the life of a superhero must be brutish and decadent under the surface, but after the first few chapters,... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Sean C. Duggan
5.0 out of 5 stars A superhero fantasy written by a literate adult for adults!
A well written page turner with well rounded(if flawed) characters and a great plot. Enjoyable. Well edited. A++
Published 1 month ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing concept, solid execution.
Published 2 months ago by Lawrence Shopper
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll love it or you'll hate it.
I like this series - it's pretty gripping and engaging, and one of the web serials (along with Legion of Nothing) that has made me wish there were a greater quantity of superhero... Read more
Published 5 months ago by T. J. McIntee
5.0 out of 5 stars loved every bit of it and I simply can not ...
Marvelous reading, loved every bit of it and I simply can not wait to grab phase two
Published 6 months ago by Bertram arly Møller-jacobsen
4.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting superhero series.
It's very refreshing reading a well-written superhero series. Only the first book in the series but many nice twists and turns here. Enjoyed it a lot. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Capricorn
5.0 out of 5 stars Phase One is Phantastic!
If you like your comic books gritty, your heroes flawed, and your villains really nasty, you'll love Zephyr: Phase One. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ian T. Healy
2.0 out of 5 stars Am I Missing Something?
There is no doubt in my mind that Warren Hately can weave magic with words. He is certainly skilled at stringing together bold sentences, but almost to a fault. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Rocco Octavius
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Fantasy
Fiction that is ‘camp’ dramatically presents cultural icons in ironic ways. When it’s done with the deftness Warren Hately achieves with Zephyr: Phase One, we experience a stunning... Read more
Published 15 months ago by A.A.Attanasio
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Very good book I really enjoyed it but I am not feeling the ending so I am looking forward to book two.
Published 15 months ago by Eric Maldonado
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More About the Author

Warren Hately lives with his children in Margaret River, Western Australia, where he works as a journalist and sub-editor. Previously, he has been a freelance travel writer, photographer and academic. He holds a doctorate in English and Comparative Literature for his dissertation The Discourse of Conflict, which reworked post-Foucauldian semiotics to examine the predominance of language-like models in the resolution of conflict (with the case study of the 1981 prison conflict in Northern Ireland). Warren also has an English with First Class Honours in post-structuralist theory and cultural studies specialising in the work of French philosopher Michel Foucault.

Since he was young, Warren has enjoyed languages and history and has studied French, Irish and Scots Gaelic, German and Icelandic. He has released music, including the album Indomitus, with death/black metal bands Sámain and The Silver Twilight. His ongoing doom metal project Daybreak can be found on Facebook. Warren also helped pioneer collaborative online fiction in the late 90s and maintains the fiction blog for Zephyr, a postmodern superhero tale inspired by the world of Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho. Zephyr is also published in six volumes and counting. In his spare time Warren occasionally blogs and is working on a graphic novel noir thriller set in 1970s South Armagh called Black Irish.

Warren's writing is influenced most strongly by the writers Bret Easton Ellis and Stieg Larsson: the former for his unique brand of transgressive fiction and satirical extended sentences; Larsson for his belief narrative fiction should represent how many members of society contribute to outcomes and not just the one defining central character. Other favourite fiction writers include Tim Powers, Thomas Harris, Peter Temple, Peter Corris, AA Attanasio, Cormac McCarthy, Greg Egan, Keith Taylor, Will Beall, Alan Moore and Grant Morrison.

To contact:

Warren Hately
PO Box 1810,
Margaret River, WA 6285
(mb) 0413 733 357
(e) wereviking @

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